From left to right, Beatrice Achaleke, from Austria by way Cameron, who defends the Rights of Women, in paticular those of black women, Chaloka Beyani, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rigths of Internally Displaced Persons, Adala Abu Middain, from Gaza who is a Human Rights defender for people with disabilities, Nurbek Toktakunov, from Kyrgyzstan, who defends the rights of Human Rights defenders, Sandrine Salerno, Mayor of the City of Geneva, Navanethem Pillay United Nations Hight Commissioner for Human Rights, Ahmad Fawzi, Moderaor, Otgonbaatar Tsedendemberel, from Mongolia, who defends the rights of those people who are discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, Roberto Garreton, a member of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Ana Pelaez Narvaez, a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Dora Alonzo, from Guatemala, who defends indigenous young people during the Human Rights Day Event.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user UN Geneva, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has declared that abortion is a human right. In December 2015, the Committee called for Peru to pay reparations to a woman who was denied an abortion, which is illegal in Peru except when the life of the mother is threatened. She brought her case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, arguing she was subjected to “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.” The Committee ruled in her favor in 2005 and said Peru violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by not allowing her an abortion.

This article highlights the recognition of a fundamental human right and shows how the United Nations may hold countries accountable for their international obligations.

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